Are We Keeping Our Kids Safe On Social Media

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Did you know that one setting on your phone could be providing the exact time and place that you took a picture to everyone online?  Did you know that having a public profile and “checking in” to a location can put you and your family in danger?  While we like to think that social media is a safe place to share our daily lives with friends and family, it is also the perfect place for predators to find you, especially if your profile is public.  So are you going to make their job easier or are you willing to take necessary precautions to keep your kids safe?

I don’t mean to scare you, I just want you to be aware.  Having a public profile and posting pictures of our kids, we are all vulnerable.   We are allowing people to not only get an intimate look into our lives, through pictures and words, but also allowing them the opportunity to publicly criticize our choices in parenting style, food, appearance, fashion and lifestyle.  We can delete inappropriate comments and block accounts we don’t feel comfortable with, but at the same time, we need to remember that the creepiest people on the internet are not going to click that “follow” button. They aren’t going to like or comment on your posts either.  They are going to be silent and you won’t even know they’re there, waiting to see where you’ll check in next.

I’ve come across a number of Instagram accounts that add their location to their posts.  Every single time I see one, I cringe.  Taking a picture of your child at a local park or at their school, and clicking on the “add location” button is so dangerous.  I’ve seen it happen so many times during the summer and now for back to school week.  What would stop a predator from showing up at that park or school?  They probably have your name, your child’s name and could even have more, depending on how many personal details you provide (and there are some that provide a whole lotta details, let’s be honest).  We may be giving them all the tools they need to cause harm, without even realizing we are doing it.

You wouldn’t allow your child to go onto social media and tell everyone where they were and give directions to that location, would you? So why would you, as a parent, share this information?   Ultimately, it’s your decision what you choose to share on your accounts, but please think twice before you post anything that gives too much information.  It takes one click of a button for predators to find all of the people that checked into a particular location.

So what can you do to stay safe?  First, make sure to check the privacy settings on your phone.  There should be a location services section, depending on the type of phone you have.  Any social media where you have a public account should be set to “NEVER”.  This will not track your location when you post.  Never “check in” or “add location” on a public profile.  Strangers do not need to know your exact location, for any reason.  Make sure that the photos app location settings are also set to “NEVER”.  Did you know that your phone is recording the time and place you take a picture with your phone if you don’t have the option checked?! Most people have no idea.   I know I didn’t until I saw it on the news.

Before you post anything, make sure you are aware of your surroundings.  License plate numbers, numbers on your house that show your address, street signs, school names, etc.  If you wouldn’t hand this information to a predator, then don’t post it.  As brand reps, bloggers and social influencers, we are making the decision to share certain parts of our lives but it’s our responsibility to make sure we are also doing everything possible to keep our families safe.

How do you keep your information safe online?  Comment below and share.

You wouldn't allow your kids to share their location online, so why do we, as parents forget that checking in is putting our kids at risk?

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I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. It’s all about the security nad privacy settings. Also, give just an allowance or specific time for kids to use social media. Let them play outside and do interactive sports instead.

  2. I’m glad that my kids are up when social media was not the way of life. You’re so right parents shouldn’t allow location settings to be on on their phones and computers, it definitely attracts predators. Some feel that they need to announce to the world exactly where they are or have been.

  3. My kids grew up in an era when social media, smartphones and tablets were not yet the norm. But right now, I have to watch what my grandson is watching on youtube. That Momo scare recently was horrible! I have nephews and nieces in their early teens and my sister is very vigilant in using ways to keep her kids safe online.

  4. THis is a huge concern for me. Before I would let my parents post pictures of our kids I had to go through and approve their privacy settings.

  5. If I add a location I have already left I make sure I am careful with that. I never to a tag of my kids school even though they encourage it. We have to be more careful of our kids and teach them also

  6. I’ve never thought about these details when I take photos or post on Social Media. Thanks for sharing these useful advice.

  7. You speak the truth, sometimes we need to keep things to ourselves not letting everyone into our personal life. thanks for sharing this .

  8. This terrifies me for the future! I have a few years to really think about this but I’m already dreading it!!

  9. I’m also so careful when it comes to social media. I actually never use the location ever. I know that you could easily be tracked that way and I don’t like that.

  10. This is terrifying and makes me relieved I don’t have kids. It’s hard enough to keep my own info safe. These are great tips!

  11. Letting my kids online worries me, just like it worries other parents. Your post with tips really helps bring the worry down a notch or two.

  12. Despite social media playing a positive role for most, the survey found the high use of social media and technology can have a negative impact on youth self-esteem. Two in three young people feel pressure to look good and nearly a third of youth have been bullied online

    These tech giants needs to do more to fix this core issue

  13. With how the world is nowadays, I can not just let my kids have an online presence and not monitor them. I think this post is a wake-up call for those parents who are trying decide to let their kids be online or not.